The History of Surrogacy in the United States | EDSI California

The History of Surrogacy in the United States

History of surrogacy

Surrogacy around the globe can be hard to understand. Many countries ban it entirely, some are unregulated, and some areas of the world consider themselves pro-surrogacy only in altruistic cases. Even in the United States, laws vary state by state. Fortunately, United States is home to one of the most surrogacy-friendly areas, the state of California. From its beginnings, it has come an incredibly long way, resulting in many happy families and healthy babies. Read on for the history of surrogacy as it has grown in the United States.

The Birth of Gestational Surrogacy

The idea of surrogacy is not a new one; it has been referenced in ancient religious texts dating back thousands of years. However, as a modern-day practice there have been countless innovations that have led to the many successful surrogacies taking place today. One such innovation was the first child born via in vitro fertilization in 1978, Louise Brown. Though this is not an example of surrogacy as it is known today, the technology has paved the way for intended parents to work with surrogates and retain their biological parenthood to their child. Ultimately, this case provided the medical research required for gestational surrogacy, which has become a popular method today in the United States. This is unlike traditional surrogacy, in which the surrogate mother provides the egg to be fertilized by sperm from a donor or intended parent. The first gestational surrogacy occurred in 1985 and the number of cases has grown considerably since then, resulting in over 3,000 cases today.

California Stands Out for Surrogacy

Though laws are not equal across the United States, there are several states that are more friendly than others. California is perhaps the most liberal state, especially when it comes to gestational surrogacy. California is a state that pushes for equality in all surrogacy arrangements and allows intended parents to establish their legal parenthood even before the child is born. A perfect example of this is the case of Johnson v. Calvert in 1990, just five years after the first gestational surrogacy occurred, which resulted in the court upholding the legal parental rights of the intended parents, against pushback from the surrogate. The surrogate, Anna Johnson, felt she had parental rights to the child she had carried for the Calvert couple, in spite of her having no biological relation to the baby boy. The court ruled in favor of the Calverts, granting them legal parentage. This was monumental for the movement, giving more power to people who desired to build families but felt stifled by laws and restrictions working against them. It also reassured many couples considering this who may have been afraid of getting into a similar situation. Today in the United States, California is one of the best places to be to start building a family through surrogacy.

Start Your Surrogacy Journey with EDSI

Egg Donor & Surrogacy Institute (EDSI) is a trusted agency in Beverly Hills, California and is committed to providing the best support for surrogates and intended parents for years to come. If you have questions about becoming a surrogate or building a family of your own, please contact EDSI at (310) 209-1898 today.

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